All the Old Knives is a 2022 American spy thriller film about two CIA operatives, and former lovers, who reunite to mull over a tragedy.
Directed by Janus Metz from a screenplay written by Olen Steinhauer based on his 2015 novel of the same name. Produced by Mark Gordon, Matt Jackson, Paula Mae Schwartz, Steve Schwartz and Nick Wechsler.
The movie stars Chris Pine (The Contractor), Thandiwe Newton, Laurence Fishburne and Jonathan Pryce.
In Carmel-by-the-Sea ex-lovers — one a CIA spy, one an ex-spy — meet over dinner to reminisce on their time together at Vienna station. The conversation moves inevitably to the disastrous hijacking of Royal Jordanian Flight 127, which ended in the deaths of all on board. That failure haunts the CIA to this day, and Henry has come to Carmel to close the book on that seedy chapter. As they parry, flirting, over California cuisine, it becomes clear that one of them is not going to survive the meal…
“All the Old Knives is a good-looking picture and the cast is obviously impressive. A muddled storytelling style drags those positive qualities down. The film is 101 minutes long. After the first 65, I ceased caring about any of it.” 1.5/4 The Aisle Seat
“Despite the relatively brief running time – compared to a lot of movies these days – All The Old Knives still feels like it takes twice as long as it needs to. It does, at least, attempt to have an ending, but it takes way too long to get there.” DVD Fever
“It is the classic Le Carré conflation of three different sorts of betrayal: personal, professional and patriotic. Pine and Newton handle this choreography with maturity and style; Newton particularly shows how impressive she is with the right role.” 4/5 The Guardian
“The cerebral vibe of Knives is appealing and whether it is accurate or not, it gives a sense of what it might be like to work at a high-pressure CIA station. Metz’s execution just should have been tighter and Pine’s portrayal darker. It is not recommended beyond the fans of Steinhauer and le Carre…” J.B. Spins
” …might work better as a stage adaptation. Uncovering the truth ends up being half the battle and though it doesn’t cut as deep as you’d want it to, All the Old Knives suggests rusty genres can still uncover new and somewhat meaningful ways of making an impact.” Grade B The Only Critic
“The subplot slowly becomes more prevalent as the film goes on. It is gradually equal to or almost even more about their history years before that tragedy on the tarmac […] Sure, the film has a particular style and a handful of talented actors to keep you interested, but as we outlined at several points, why does it all matter?” Ready Steady Cut
Amazon will release All the Old Knives theatrically in select US locations and streaming on Prime Video on April 8th, 2022
Cast and characters:
Chris Pine … Henry Pelham
Thandiwe Newton … Celia Harrison
Ahd … Laila Maroof
Corey Johnson … Karl Stein
Abdul Alshareef … Suleiman Abdulwahed
Nasser Memarzia … Mohammed Dudayev
Orli Shuka … Ilyas Shushani
David Bedella … Drew Favreau
Alexander Devrient … Qamar Ayad
Karina Wiedman … Tahar